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San Francisco 5, Antonini 4, Sugaya 3, Mr. Kaplan 3, Moore 3, Fong 2, San Lorenzo 2, Mr. Crawford 2, Andrew Dun 1, Mr. Jocelyn 1, Graham Irwin 1, Hillis 1, Francis Woods Association 1, Hoa 1, Osha 1, Benjamin Mitch 1, Peter Lynn 1, Washington 1, California 1, Iowa 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    January 12, 2013
    12:00 - 12:30am PST  

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packet. let layout is awkward to put it generously. there is only one utility connection for the house. the permit to convert to a two unit house was never finalized and there is discrepancy there also. i hope you consider the difficulty with families in san francisco for finding single family homes and the plight of children out of city that has resulted in that. i also wanted to flag for you in my experience i'm not an architect. i actually work for an environmental organization so i have learned a lot in the planning process here and i haven't seen much in your code priorities, guidelines, brochures, about inventizing people like me to build in iowa that is environmentally. >> >> preferrable. i know san francisco has
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model green ordinance and that doesn't apply to projects like me and it would be great for this commission to think of incentivize this project in your process. thank you very much for your consideration. >> thank you. do we have any further public comment? if not i guess public comment is closed . president, do you want to take over. >> i guess i will -- >> from moving one seat to another. commissioner antonini. >> thank you. well, as was pointed out by project sponsor this is kind of a small building in an area where a lot of the buildings are larger and unusual relevant to the appearance of the others but it would make it more compliant because 71% of
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the buildings in the area are single family and originally built as a single family and i don't see any reason why we should deny this. it makes a lot of sense. if project sponsor wanted to go up and add an additional floor and maybe change the configuration of the garage in the front and make it less of a visual garage coming in, but this is making a huge project out of something he just merely wants to combine the two units as they were originally configured, so i would suggest we do not take dr and approve the project. >> is that a motion? >> that's a motion. >> second. >> >> commissioner moore. >> i have been looking for the unit sizes, what they are now and what they would be when they're merged. the other thing i would like to ask, and that is a question for mr. crawford why
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isn't there a architect or engineer on the drawings which is typical for submittals? >> i believe mr. kaplan is the architect on this project. his name is on the application and on the plans. >> didn't he say he's not an architect. >> that's what he said. >> so there is no name of an architect or an engineer on this drawing. >> i will let mr. kaplan speak to that, but in the meantime -- well, it looks like it's -- the building is 1966 square feet. the units are divided fairly equally between the upper and lower floor so around a thousand
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square feet piece. >> and we have the total square footage. >> yeah, you will have a 2,000 square foot and i will let mr. kaplan speak about the architect. >> yeah, on the matter of the architect. my understanding of the code is the property owner is allowed to design the property if the structure is under 25 feet which this close -- house is clearly and i have worked with architects and retained a licensed engineer who will do the structural work with the project and that will come in with the drawings that go to knowledge inspection. >> [inaudible] >> >> administrator address what type of drawings can be done by home just to clarify that for me. thank you. >> the standard as i understand is set by the department of
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building inspection. we can review projects that are not necessarily stamped by a licensed architect or civil engineer for our review in the planning department. as the project proceeds through the review process with dbi it will require at least a licensed engineer for its review. >> thank you. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, and this a little bit different because if this were not a mandatory dr i think the amount of work being done, and i think it's relatively small, although he has plans to do a few more extensive things and might be able to not go before permitting and will need the engineer or architect when he gets to that stage and sounds like this might be not anticipated and i don't think it's something he would go out
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to do. he feels he needs the permission to go to the expense of getting everything else paid for charged out. >> mr. crawford. >> thank you commissioner. if i could remind the commission also the project does not involve an expansion of the building in any way. >> thank you. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes. i don't know if this is true or not, but with five commissioners you may not have enough votes to pass this at this session. >> dr. >> whatever. >> so i'm going to propose a continuance. >> second. >> why with five commissioners we are not able to -- >> right now you only have four and i don't know how they're going to vote.
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>> [inaudible] >> we have five. >> i'm saying you have five commissioners but four votes. >> you're assuming by making that assumption that we're not -- (inaudible). >> yes, i am. we've done this in the past -- >> you could test the motion and then continue. >> you have to at least test it. >> you don't have to but request for continuance supersedes the motion on the floor. >> correct. i don't think we can take a vote after it passes; right? >> yes, you k.d your rules are unusual there. as long as it's in the same meeting your rules allow you to take the continuance after. jonas can confirm that. >> okay. >> what don't you like about it? >> no. i just don't like mergers. >> okay. so as a policy matter
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of principle. >> okay. >> . got t i am with you today. >> commissioner antonini. >> yeah, i think this is a total waste of time. i am not supportive of a continuance. it's a gentleman with a family. he just wants to make his space more liveable and this is what drives people out of san francisco is the stupid policy and dr's work this way. you need four votes and deny the project sponsor the project and if that doesn't happen you have the right to continue it afterwards so since the continuance has to be heard first and his interpretation and i think he's right because it's been already made but if the continuance is not granted we can consider it today and save ourselves and this gentleman -- >> i will withdraw the continuance. >> okay. >> okay. then the motion --
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>> commissioner moore has a comment. >> i would like -- we have one registered architect here mr. jocelyn. i would like to ask you with the building designed in 61 what type of drawings would you expect as a registered architect and with dr and wouldn't the existing drawings at a minimum reflect what it is i oom not discussing the merging or not. that's not the issue for me. it's the type of drawings submitted and what type of open door it gives somebody to submit drawings for this type of approval. >> i have to state first i'm not a registered architect in california. i am registered in oregon so with that disclosure i would say for these purposes the kinds of drawings that are provided are not atypical for these processes and acceptable
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in the manner that was described. that it's not necessarily a requirement of a stamp in our code -- >> i know that. >> nor is it necessarily typical of the process for changes of this modest scale. it might be worth hearing a little more from the sponsor the extent about which an engineer has been involved in the project. that's not exactly what i heard. i heard he's in discussion. i assume part of your concern is the extent to which the project could change once there were professionals looking at the documents and that causes a little bit of concern for moving forward, so it might be worth exploring to the extent to which is currently propose side feasible. >> i appreciate your. >>
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>> explanation and use that as guidance to myself. however the questions i think need to be answered by the applicant in order to have the commission know he is proceeding through the channels for the project to move before you. >> if i may what is before you is the design of the project. it's the merger of the unit. >>i understand that. >> just to assure you i am not so foolish to jump into this without expert help. i originally had a architect andrew dun bar architects in san francisco. i have retained and contracted with a licenseed engineer and he explains what goes into the project so the plan is already in place for the engineering and the contract and i have paid
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for it, et cetera, so this is not speculative, and finally i am working with graham irwin who is a professional building consultant who helps me like me with green building projects and has a national reputation of being a foremost thinker in this field and based in marin county and working with me on the drawings and editing them and correcting them, et cetera. >> i think that particular explanation satisfies my questioning and i support the withdrawal of the continuance. >> so we now have a motion i believe on the floor for approval. >> there is a motion and a second on the floor commission. shall i call the question? commissioner antonini. >> aye. >> commissioner hillis. >> aye. >> commissioner moore. >> aye. >> commissioner sug. >> no. >> commissioner president fong.
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>> aye. >> commissioners that passes four to one with commissioner sugaya against. all right. commissioners you are item 16 for 1325 portola drive request for discretionary review. that is abbreviated discretionary review. >> good afternoon planning commission. i am [inaudible] southwest team leader. this property has been issued a building permit currently under construction and it was taken away because there was a misrepresentation --. what occurred the original notice didn't correctly represent the height of the overall residents
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at this area. this is a new construction project. discretionary review had did been filed on the original notification. because of this discrepancy a suspension of the new permit was filed and a corrected 311 notice was sent out to accurately document the subject property and the adjacent property height relationship. the subject property at portolla drive and the adjacent property next door is 1337 portolla avenue and the plan for the height as approved plan and the current plan are still code compliant. essentially there was a misrepresentation and showing to be equal height to this when in actuality it's slightly taller. after this 311 notice was sent
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out a dr was filed by yet another neighbor whose resident is the rear of the property and on san lorenzo way. the project was reviewed by a residential design following the dr and the initial notification and they founda the project consistent with the guidelines. the proposed res disens on the higher ground and property and no impact on their light and air. the dr [inaudible] furthermore the two rear yards -- there are two rear yards and substantial distance between the two structures . the planning department created this will not create adverse impact to the
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dr's impact or light or air or demonstrate exceptional or extraordinary circumstance and the planning commission should not take view. the framing of the structure is there but stopped midway for the correction to be made. this concludes my presentation. >> okay. dr requester. you have five minutes. >> thank you. thank you commissioners. you have to excuse me. i lost my voice due to a cold so it's a little bit rough. my name is peter lynn. i live on san lorenzo way and
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behind 1325 portola drive. i want to point out there is incorrect information just stated. my house -- excuse me 1325 portola drive is west, southwest, not north of my house. i can't prove that except to bring a compass. someone come out and look at it. i have some photographic evidence i would like to just show. these are from my upstairs window. is this thing working? this is looking west. i'm sorry. this is looking west. this is 1325 portola drive covered in a tarp. beyond that -- i am trying to give you perspective here. you saw in
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this picture. this is the church. let's leave that on for a minute. with a telephoto lens from the church and from this place you have the pacific ocean and the setting sun, and again same place [inaudible] islands. the house is clearly west and not north and you can also see in the foreground of the picture the unfinished home. with that being said there's been a lot of issues with this home over the years it started in 2009. if the original plans were properly done we wouldn't be here now and raised this issue a long time ago. in the original plans
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1337 portolla next door was used as a benchmark and said 1325 would be 6 inches taller. no one complained. 6 inches taller is fine. that's miniscule. as it looks now the house will be 6 feet taller. in the -- excuse me. in the prints that this commission should have they use a height above sea level for these homes. now, i've lost it of course. 1335 portolla --
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top of sidewalk at center line of the building is where measurements are taken from from what i understand from the building commission. this shows this level above sea level and this is going from the drawings -- the person that submitted the drawings their pictures and calculations. 381.2 feet above sea level at center of building -- excuse me at curb height at center of height. 1325 elevation listed here. this is a rise of 3.5 feet. the builder is saying their building is going higher because of the rise of portolla drive and we have three and a half feet of rise between the two lots. the roof line for 1337 is listed here.
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this proposed roof line is 420 feet. this is a 6-foot difference almost. if that house is to rise to its full height it's going to block out -- excuse me, my sunshine from my upper floors. sunshine on my deck and backyard is already gone, but we're talk about this sunshine i get from my upper floors. if they're going with the rise of portolla drive they should go with that 3.5 feet difference. what she is putting up there is just attic space. it's not like she's going to lose living space. this is attic space and if it's peaked lower i will be fine with it. thank you. >> calling for speakers in favor
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of the dr. seeing none. project sponsor you have five minutes. >> good evening president fong and commissioners. i am sarah new. i am speaking on behalf of my mother who is the project sponsor. we have been working on this project for the last eight years and within those years we have been working closely with the planning and building department of san francisco to comply with the necessary codes and requirements to begin and complete this project. in this process we have sawt additional professional advice advised by the st. francis community and window alignment, composition and architectural style of the house and neighborhood guidelines for st. francis
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woods association. our architect has worked with benjamin mitch chel who works for the board and he's attended committee meetings and revised the plans according to the committee's considerations and recommendations. on march 8 when the dr applicant filed a request for the discretionary review we again worked with the planning department specifically and adriane [inaudible] and required us to submitted plans of the acquat graifd the building in relation to its neighbors. it wasn't actually constructed any larger or different from the originally submitted and approved plans, so as stated by mr. washington of the planning department he did not find that project adversely affected the neighbor's property, and we have been in compliance with the planning department. my family has
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purchased this property with their savings and with the intent to build its dream home. within the last 10 months it's been a significant financial burden so i respectively request that the project be approved by the commission so we can complete the project. thank you for your time. >> thank you. calling for speakers in favor of the project sponsor or in support. okay. seeing none dr requester you have a two minute rebuttal. >> hello again. one of the points brought up that i have heard in the past is that if they make any changes the hoa at st. fran i guess woods would
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have a problem with that and i spoke to the chair yesterday if this is approved by you they're willing to work with the project planner to get in compliance so it looks if the roof is lowered -- that is a visual change, and the hoa is willing to work with them towards -- [inaudible]. this project has taken a long time. i agree with what the young lady just said. however, a lot of the delays were created by the builder. the entire lot was excavaitded with no permit. it was done on memorial weekend 2011 i think intentionally because they're guaranteed no one would see it. osha shut it down because they had unsupported 15-foot dirt cliff which is my backyard that would fall if that unsupported dirt cliff fell. there have been a lot of delays due to things
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like this. that project still has no fence around it. it's a construction site. children can go across my lot and fall in a hole. it's completely wide open. on portolla it's protected. there's a fence. but i understand there should be a fence. there has been a lot of sleight-of-hand, trickery going on with it. thank you. >> thank you. project sponsor you have a two minute rebuttal. >> i think a lot of times used towards accommodating to the neighborhood and we took into consideration all of the neighbors recommendations for several years and i don't think it's just as easy as changing
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the roof according to the wishes of a neighbor as there are a lot of considerations that actually took place for the esthetic of the home. as mentioned in the dr requester application portolla runs uphill, and the buildings would rise accordingly. we actually submitted the plans based on depicting the natural grade of the land, and how it results to its neighbors, so i don't think just lowering the roof or making it flat or making it lower would necessarily change anything for the neighbor. i think you would still have issues that he would continually come up with as he has for the last several years. i think at the end of the day the project should be approved
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as is, and i don't have anything else to say. thank you. >> thank you. okay. that concludes the public hearing. opening up to commissioners. commissioner sugaya. >> yes. in the staff notes this did go to the board of appeals so the board of appeals apparently made some conditions, and i am curious as to how we got into a situation where the board of appeals' height was supposed to be 395 to 396 above sea level based on what is on the site survey to all of a sudden we're at 420. i mean is this like a comedy of errors or
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what? >> the project had -- i mean i understand it's fully within the height and all of that stuff so i'm not arguing from that standpoint. it seems from a process standpoint some things went by the weigh side or i don't know -- >> there had been a history of issues about the construction techniques that this project had initially started and issues that took it to the board of appeals prior to this aspect of it even coming to our attention. again those things that happened after our initial review and sign off on the project when it was through the building phase. this current situation regarding the framing was again brought after the fact, but yes, there has been an unfortunate history about this project that has caused some problems along th